chapter  seven
18 Pages

The task: regenerating education

WithDudley Plunkett

If the crisis of meaning in western society stems, as has been argued, from an absence of shared values other than those of secular materialism, then the taboo on discussion of the spiritual dimension of life is its most chronic symptom, and it is one that is readily apparent in education. Apart from its material goals, education is increasingly rootless, anomic and directionless because, it is contended, the larger existential questions are being avoided and false assumptions about the world fostered. The practical relevance of the spiritual to education, whether in formal or informal senses, lies in its challenge not only to qualitative aspects of the work of schools, such as the values that underlie their policy-making processes and working relationships. For teachers to seek to identify their own educational values and purposes thoroughly is a surprisingly rare occurrence. Teachers need strategies and fully understood modes of approach to the working out of their own educational values and aims.